Food Security in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 14, 2022, 15:02

Food security means that food is available, accessible, and affordable. When food crops' production or distribution is complex, disadvantaged households are prone to food shortages, leading to food insecurity.

Food security heavily relies on a public system of distribution. Food Security in India is a massive problem as the population is relatively high in India.

The Elements of Food Security in India

Household resources, discretionary income, and socioeconomic standing are linked to food security. It's also closely tied to other issues, including food pricing, global climate change, water, energy, and agricultural expansion.

Food availability, or the regular availability of food in optimum quantities. It considers local the inventory and processing capabilities and the ability to import food from different places via commerce or help.

People must obtain enough quantities of food regularly, either via buying or growing food in their own homes. You can even acquire food as gifts from others.

Food utilisation: Food consumed must have a beneficial nutritional effect on individuals. It includes household cooking, storage, hygiene routines, individual health, sanitation, sharing the produce with others, etc.

About Food Security in India

Food security concerns began during the Bengal Famine of 1943, during which millions of people while under British colonial administration.

Various shocks of food shortages have hit India since independence, including an initial rush to industrialise while ignoring agriculture, several droughts that stuck in the 1960s, and India has remained dependent on the US for food.

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Importance of Green Revolution

The country had a Green Revolution around 1960-1970 that helped the country solve the problems of production and improved the output of grains.

The Green Revolution was followed by the White Revolution and the Operation Flood from 1970-to 1980. The White Revolution transformed how milk was sold and produced in the country.

In recent years, hybrid maise that has found its use in industries and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton have had great success, resulting in significant cotton exports, with India becoming the second-largest cotton exporter in 2007-2008.

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Concerns with Food Security in India

India is home to 195 million malnourished humans, making it the only country with this huge number. India's agricultural productivity is relatively low.

Compared to North America's productivity, India only produces 2,992 kg per hectare of crops, and North America has 7.318.4 kgs per hectare.

People's food palette is changing, consuming animal-based products like meat, eggs, etc. As the per capita income increases, the demand for these products will increase.

Food Security in India is a significant problem. Different governments have tried to address the problem, but the issue remains unaddressed. Meaningful reform is necessary to address this burning problem of Food Security in India.

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FAQs on Food Security in India

Q.1 Concerning Food Security in India, how many people are undernourished?

About 14.8% of India's population is undernourished, which is concerning for India's food security.

Q.2 What is India's rank in the Global Food Security Index regarding Food Security in India?

India ranks 76th out of 113 countries, depicting the state of Food Security in India.

Q.3 What are a few challenges to Food Security in India?

Some of the challenges to Food Security in India are:

  • Climate Change
  • Lack of access to remote areas
  • Rural to Urban Migration
  • Overpopulation

Q.4 How is an inadequate food distribution system a challenge for Food Security in India?

The inadequate food distribution system is a massive challenge to Food Security in India. There is no single system for defining the number of people belonging to the BPL category, so distribution becomes a major challenge.